King Edward’s School and the Great War

Memorial Roll of Honour 1914 - 1918


Jenkins, John Richard

Private ▪ 1st Birmingham Pals, 14th Royal Warwickshire Regiment

John Richard Jenkins, born on 7th September 1895, was admitted to King Edward’s School in September 1912, having transferred from King Edward’s Aston. His father, Richard, was a commission agent, and the family, including his two brothers and two sisters, lived at 183, Aston Lane, Perry Bar. John’s brothers, Thomas and Harry, attended King Edward’s Aston and Harry served and died in the Great War.

At School, John was a member of the 1st XV, and was described by the Secretary in 1914 as: “a fair tackle, must learn to go low; does not use his pace to the best advantage”. He was also a good bowler, taking 4 for 21 against King’s School Worcester in 1914, and making 21 runs himself. Academically, he was capable at all aspects of study, particularly French and English. After School, he worked as a Student Teacher for the Birmingham Education Committee.

In 1914, John enlisted as a Private Soldier in the 1st Birmingham Pals Battalion (14th Royal Warwickshire Regiment). He was a member of the Battalion rugby XV, winning the C Company event at the Battalion Sports Competition. In November 1915, he was sent to France, and on 6th January 1916 he was severely wounded by shrapnel. His leg was shattered, and later had to be amputated. John unfortunately succumbed to his wounds on 24th January 1916, aged twenty, and was buried in St Sever Cemetery, Rouen. On 20th January 1916, four days after his leg had been amputated, and four days before his death, the Birmingham Daily Mail reported that Private Jenkins was “very well-known in the city.” John’s father requested that the inscription on his son’s headstone should read: “O Rest in the Lord.”